Great Tennis Player Margaret Court

Great Tennis Player Margaret Court

Margaret Court Transcended Both Amateur And Professional Eras

Victor P Taffa

Sport of Tennis has had many great players in both Amateur and Professional eras however if there was one player who transcended both it was Margaret Court.

Margaret Court for many reasons can be regarded as the greatest Tennis Player either Male or Female in the history of the sport.

Some great players have only a relatively short career while others are able to have a long and successful time at the top.

Margaret Court was lucky enough to be relatively free of injury and span both the Amateur and Professional eras notwithstanding the great Rod Laver.

 

Margaret Court

Margaret Court began playing tennis when she was 8 years old and in 1960 turned was 18 when she won the first of 7 consecutive singles titles at the Australian Championships. Margaret Court retired in late 1977.

Rod Laver

Rod Laver was the No. 1 ranked professional from 1964-70, spanning 4 years before and 3 years after the start of the Open Era in 1968. He also was the No. 1 ranked amateur in 1961–62. Rod Lave retired in 1979.

Margaret Court and Ken Rosewall

Margaret Court won 11 of her 24 titles at the Australian Opens on grass whereas Ken Rosewall was never able to win Wimbledon on grass yet won 4 of his 8 titles on grass at the Australian Open.

Rod Laver and Margaret Court

Rod Laver won 4 of his 11 titles at Wimbledon on grass yet Margaret Court conquered grass in 14 of her 24 titles.

Australian Open was played on grass until 1987.

John Bromwich and Adrian Quist

John Bromwich and Adrian Quist won Australian Open Men’s Doubles in 1938, 39 and 1940. Competitions were not played in 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945 yet they both returned to dominate Australian Open Mens Doubles in 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950.

Thelma Coyne Long and Nancye Wynne Bolton

Thelma Coyne Long and Nancye Wynne Bolton won Australian Open Women’s Doubles in 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1940. Competitions were not played in 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945 yet they both returned to dominate Australian Open Womens Doubles in 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951 and 1952.

Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert

Martina Navratilova spanning 2 countries won 9 of her 18 titles on Grass at Wimbledon whereas Chris Evert won 7 of 18 titles on clay at the French Open.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer has so far only won 1 of his 20 titles on clay at the French Open while winning 8 titles on grass at Wimbledon whereas Rafael Nadal has so far won 1 of his 17 titles on rebound ace at the Australian Open and 11 titles on clay at the French Open.

 

In considering the greatest player one must remember that the best man must be able to defeat the best man on his day and the best female must be able to defeat the best female on her day.

To expect the best man to defeat the best female in the same match or vice versa is not a balanced and fair contest given the different physical attributes of both a male and female.

As such there can be the best male player and the best female player yet one can be the greatest player of all time.

Time honoured debate of one era cannot be compared to another era is true however Margaret Court played and won Major Championships in the Professional era.

Margaret Court could have been as dominant had she been playing in 2019.

Roger Federer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Rod Laver won 2 Grand Slams in 1962 and 1969 there are other factors such as intervention of World Wars I & II and also the end of Amateur and beginning of Professional eras to consider.

World Wars I & II

Gaps caused by World Wars 1 & II were entirely different situations to a lack of performance by Australia in Major Championships since 1976. Players who won Major Championships before World War II returned to form and dominated after the war.

This article only considers who won which particular men’s or women’s 4 Major Championships.

After all it is these that are the benchmark of a Tennis Player whereas the Men’s Team Davis Cup and Women’s Team Fed Cup Tennis Competitions are the benchmark of the strength and depth of a nations Tennis Players.

  • Australian Open Men’s or Women’s
  • French Open Men’s or Women’s
  • Wimbledon Gentleman’s or Ladies
  • US Open Men’s or Women’s

Tennis Grand Slam

Term Grand Slam, without qualification, and also originally, refers to the achievement of winning all 4 major championships within a single calendar year within one of the 5 events:

  • Men’s singles;
  • Women’s singles;
  • Men’s doubles;
  • Women’s doubles;
  • Mixed doubles.

Men’s Singles Grand Slam

Only two players have been able to win all four Majors in a single year. Rod Laver achieved this on two occasions.

Year                Player

1969                Rod Laver (AUS)

1962                Rod Laver (AUS)

1938                Don Budge (USA)

Women’s Singles Grand Slam

Only three players have been able to win all four Majors in a single year.

Year                Player

1988*              Steffi Graf (WEG)

1970                Margaret Court (AUS)

1953                Maureen Connolly (USA)

*Golden Slam (also won the Olympic Gold medal)

Most Women’s Major Tennis Championship Singles Titles (5 or more)

All Time

PlayerTotalAustralianFrenchWimbledon U.S.
Margaret Court (AUS)2411535
Serena Williams (USA)237376
Steffi Graf (WEG, GER)224675
Helen Wills Moody (USA)190487
Chris Evert (USA)182736
Martina Navratilova (CZE, USA)183294
Billie Jean King (USA)121164
Maureen Connolly (USA)91233
Monica Seles (YUG, USA)94302
Suzanne Lenglen (FRA)80260
Molla Bjurstedt Mallory (NOR, USA)80008
Dorothea Lambert Chambers (UK)70070
Maria Bueno (BRA)70034
Evonne Goolagong (AUS)74120
Justine Henin (BE)71402
Venus Williams (USA)70052
Blanche Bingley Hillyard (UK)60060
Margaret Osborne duPont (USA)60213
Nancye Wynne Bolton (AUS)66000
Louise Brough (USA)61041
Doris Hart (USA)61212
Lottie Dod (UK)50050
Charlotte Cooper Sterry (UK)50050
Daphne Akhurst (AUS)55000
Helen Jacobs (USA)50014
Alice Marble (USA)50014
Pauline Betz (USA)50014
Althea Gibson (USA)50122
Martina Hingis (SWI)53011
Maria Sharapova (RUS)51211

 

Most Men’s Major Tennis Championship Singles Titles (5 or more)

All Time

PlayerTotalAustralianFrenchWimbledon U.S.
Roger Federer (SWI)206185
Rafael Nadal (SPA)1711123
Novak Djokovic (SER)157143
Pete Sampras (USA)142075
Roy Emerson (AUS)126222
Rod Laver (AUS)113242
Bjorn Borg (SWE)110650
Bill Tilden (USA)100037
Fred Perry (UK)81133
Ken Rosewall (AUS)84202
Jimmy Connors (USA)81025
Ivan Lendl (CZE)82303
Andre Agassi (USA)84112
Richard Sears (USA)70007
William Renshaw (UK)70070
William Larned (USA)70007
Rene Lacoste (FRA)70322
Henri Cochet (FRA)70421
John Newcombe (AUS)72032
John McEnroe (USA)70034
Mats Wilander (SWE)73301
Laurence Doherty (UK)60051
Anthony Wilding (NZ)62040
Jack Crawford (AUS)64110
Don Budge (USA)61122
Stefan Edberg (SWE)62022
Boris Becker (WEG, GER)62031
Frank Sedgman (AUS)52012
Tony Trabert (USA)50212

 

This article could go on and Tennis will be the winner from a debate as to who was the greatest player of all time, male or female.

Editor Victor P Taffa considers that Margaret Court to be the greatest player of all time male or female.

Editor Victor P Taffa while attending school at St. Patrick’s College Strathfield did have tennis lessons with a wooden handle tennis racquet.

Abbreviations

AUS                Australia

BE                   Belgium

BRA                Brazil

CZE                Czechoslovakia

FRA                France

GER                Germany

NOR               Norway

RUS                Russia

SER                 Serbia

SPA                 Spain

SWE                Sweden

SWI                 Switzerland

UK                  United Kingdom

USA                United States of America

WEG               West Germany

YUG               Yugoslavia

Caption:

Margaret Court